In early October, a 15-year-old girl was locked up overnight in the storage space of a pull-out sofa bed in her mother (38) and stepfather (30) apartment in De Panne.
The girl was wanted by the police after fleeing an institution, but her mother and stepfather hid her. They were picked up that night and it wasn’t until the next morning that they confessed that the girl was still sitting on the sofa bed. They face severe prison sentences. “You could have had your daughter’s death on your conscience. The girl was out of breath. The young girl had already fled the De Zandberg institution in Varsenare on several occasions. According to the prosecution, her mother instigated the girl to do so because she did not agree with the juvenile judge’s decision. He had decided that the girl should be placed because of a bad situation at home. On the evening of October 5, police raided mom and stepfather’s apartment in De Panne, as there was strong suspicion that she was staying there. However, there was nothing to be found. Death Escaped Stepfather Kristof G. was very rebellious, however, with kicks and blows on the police. He also tried to take off their masks. There was a lot of uproar in the apartment, but to no avail. The two were taken to the police station, but the interrogations took much longer than mother Mieke L. and stepfather thought. “In the morning, they had to reluctantly confess that the girl was still locked in the sofa bed. They worried. A patrol immediately returned. At this point, the girl could barely escape. However, it was close. Messages to her boyfriend show that she could barely breathe. You could have had your daughter’s death on your conscience, ma’am, ”the lawyer said furiously at the trial. According to the statements of the mother and the stepfather, this was by no means the first time that she was hiding or had to hide there. “In the sofa bed storage space, partitions had been removed so that the girl could simply fit in completely. And ring attached, so that the storage compartment could be closed from the inside to stay in. away from the clutches of the police. However, the girl herself could not open the sofa bed, with almost fatal consequences “, continued the prosecutor. 37 months in prison. 37 months in prison. asked the mother and 30 for the stepfather. The prosecution therefore demanded a heavier punishment for the mother, because as a mother she bears more responsibility and should take extra protective measures. She is being prosecuted for “removal of minors to whom the juvenile court has assigned them”. The stepfather is being prosecuted as a co-author and also for rebellion. The lawyer who represented the rights of the girl as an ad hoc guardian demanded 750 euros in compensation for the girl. “She was locked up like a dog. She also reported a lack of oxygen in the previous times that this had happened. It really could have ended completely. These are horrific facts, ”said the lawyer. Debt instead of each other Meanwhile, Kristof G. and Mieke L. have separated and are blaming each other. “I didn’t know about this sofa bed,” the mother said. The prosecution did not believe it. The stepfather said he kept the daughter hidden because otherwise he would have to go to jail. “I thought she should stay in the facility because I didn’t want to be in trouble. She was with us after all, so we hid her. If she was found by the police, they would lock us up. Now, of course, that turned out to be much worse. But she could really breathe, ”was his defense. The prosecution found the statement unrealistic and unconscious, and their lawyers tried to put the facts into context and asked for favors in the form of suspension, community service or imprisonment with time. probation. “Of course, they should have immediately reported that the girl was hiding there,” he said.